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Mightysat 1 (P97-2)

Mightysat 1 [NASA]

MightySat is a United States Air Force Phillips Laboratory multi-mission, small satellite program dedicated to providing frequent, inexpensive, on-orbit demonstrations of space system technologies.

The MightySat 1 payload will launched from the Shuttle via the Hitchhiker Ejection System, which is managed out of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The payload will deployed on flight day twelve.

The primary objective of the MightySat program is to provide on-orbit demonstrations of emerging technologies. Data from the mission will be used to support decisions on the readiness of the tested technology for Air Force missions.

MightySat 1 used the refurbished bus of NASA's cancelled XSAT.

The Mightysat-1 payload is a non-retrievable spacecraft that was be deployed from the Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-88. The MightySat payload has five advance technology demonstration experiments:

  • The Advanced Composite Structure, which serves as the structure for the vehicle, has no command interfaces with the spacecraft. All relevant data on the structure will be captured in ground testing.
  • The Advanced Solar Cell Experiment will test the performance of dual-junction solar cells comprised of Gallium Indium Phosphide layers atop a Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) layer. These dual junction cells provide more power than conventional GaAs cells. As a result, this advance in space power technology can be useful for power–intensive sensors in the future and small satellite missions which have power constraints.
  • The Microsystem and Packaging for Low Power Electronics (MAPLE) experiment is a demonstration of advanced microelectronics and electronics packaging techniques. The objective is to provide an on-orbit demonstration of the electronics in the space environment.
  • The Shape-Memory Actuated Release Device (SMARD) payload will demonstrate a new class of low shock release devices. Release devices are used to separate satellites from launch vehicle adapters, or to deploy antennae, solar arrays, and sensor covers. Such devices offer reduced shock levels because the separation time is longer. They are low-cost and can be completely reset.
  • Lastly, the objective of the Micro-Particle Impact Detector (MPID) experiment is to place as many detectors into space to provide indications of natural and man-made orbital debris.

MightySat 1 was spring-ejected at a minimum rate of 1.7 fps from the HitchHiker canister in the payload bay of the Shuttle orbiter.

The spacecraft reentered the Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 16, 1999 due to its relatively low orbital altitude. All of the mission objectives were accomplished.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: USAF Phillips Laboratory / STP (Space Test Program)
Contractors: CTA → Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)
Equipment: MAPLE, SMARD, MPID, ASCE, ACS
Configuration: PicoStar
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 1 year
Mass: 68 kg
Orbit: 381 km × 395 km, 51.6
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Mightysat 1 (P97-2) 1998-069C 04.12.1998 CCK LC-39A Shuttle with Endeavour F13 (STS 88), Node 1, PMA 1, PMA 2, SAC A
Further MightySat missions:
Further STP missions: